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Forging Solidarity Across Conflict (Bonus Shorts)
Episode 21319th January 2024 • Insight Myanmar • Insight Myanmar Podcast
00:00:00 00:55:12

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Episode #213: Isaac Evans-Frantz outlines the mission of Action Corps, a U.S.-based organization dedicated to justice and solidarity in the face of global disasters. One of their initiatives is in support of ethnic and religious minorities facing persecution in Myanmar.

Even though Isaac has never visited Myanmar, the work hits home in a personal way. “When I was a child, somebody came to my class and spoke about surviving the Holocaust. He had been in a Nazi death camp, he showed us the number on his arm, and he told us horrific stories. I promised myself after that, that if I were ever in a position where I knew about some genocide that was happening… I would do everything that I could to stop that!” So for him, it was only natural that the situation in Myanmar would find a place in his heart.

Jade, a Kachin-American, has been working with Action Corps, and joins Evans-Frantz in the discussion. She emphasizes the importance of building a collective identity among diaspora communities, which has two parts. One regards the younger generation of the Burmese diaspora and their struggles with cultural identity as “third culture kids.” The other is the challenge of unity within the diaspora community, which is hindered by historical social, cultural and political divisions. The ability of the wider diaspora community to engage in advocacy is further complicated by the economic struggles many face in the U.S. and cultural norms of stoicism in the face of difficulties.

“Feel encouraged that there are people out here who are trying to make a difference and that you can too!” Jade says in closing. “No one is ever alone. Our power really does come from coming together and being in solidarity.”



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